The recent passage of Senate Bills 909 and 242 represents bold action to improve our state's strategic use of education resources, and we believe the changes to the language of the bills have the potential to lead us toward significant improvements in education outcomes.
Senate Bill 909, which creates the Oregon Education Investment Board, will lead to greater integration of state early childhood care and education programs, while strategically aligning early childhood care and education with K-12 and post-secondary education.
Senate Bill 242, which creates a Higher Education Coordinating Commission and changes the governance structure of the Oregon University System (OUS), is the necessary first step in taking a coordinated approach to building a stronger and more accountable post-secondary system.
Over our 37-year history, OCF and its donors have invested literally tens of millions of dollars in early childhood programs, K-12 education, and scholarships for Oregon students wishing to pursue post-secondary education and workforce training. Unfortunately, no matter how large the investment, the need has outstripped the ability of OCF — and of likeminded organizations -- to keep up.
What has been missing is bold action on the part of the public sector. This is why OCF board of directors urged support of Senate Bills 909 and 242. With the public and private sectors working together, we can change the landscape of education in Oregon and better prepare our youth to lead productive lives and contribute to their communities.